Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A whole lot too late from Beverly Smith

Beverly Smith calls Virtue and Moir the best in the world and tells us why

Of course the ice dance segment of the team competition is this weekend, so this accomplishes precisely nothing.

This article implicitly takes down Davis and White - but fails to mention Davis and White. Why?

Figure skating is a competitive sport. The Olympics are NOW. It's not performance art. It's not an evening of dance vignettes. It's not apples to oranges. It's apples to apples - the skating skills and dancing of this team verus that team for the Olympic championship.

There is no reason for this article to exist other than to take down Davis and White, but apparently if you mention their names in conjunction with criticism the ISU strips your credentials and you're banned from the sport. Has to be. In ladies singles the ladies are compared CONSTANTLY. Pairs, the same. Men as well. Just not the top two in dance. One cannot notice that Davis and White are being rewarded for flaunting the sport's own rules and standards, and for skating with inferior, dumbed down technique. One can only point out all that Virtue and Moir are doing and pretend everybody knows what you're really saying. But you're not allowed to really say it.

If you're not going to really say it, what is the point?

Here's Smith:

So what is it that they do so well that makes them the best ice dance team in the world, perhaps of all time (Robin Cousins once compared them to Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.)  Well, the way their bodies move, for one thing. They stretch their bodies. One canny expert explains that they straighten their knees and point their toes, they extend their necks upward, they open their chests, using their entire bodies to interpret music. Virtue in particular has a very mobile torso and they both arch their backs to create shapes, and they involve their hips and shoulders like no one else to produce movement that the style and rhythm of dance commands. Their movement is beautifully coordinated. They complete their movements, with extended legs and arms. The tension in their bodies’ changes as the music dictates. The tension is never static.
The foxtrot of the short dance this season calls for a sway – and they have a gorgeous sway – and the rise and fall of a soft knee. Says Ann Shaw, guru of international ice dance: “You’re supposed to have an elegant look, and use your knees in the foxtrot and have a syncopation of approach. [In the quickstep] they have an elegant upright, light airy look, and they have the best interpretation of the rhythms required of anybody this year. They interpret the quickstep and foxtrot like nobody else does.”
Speed? It’s supposed to come from rhythmic knee action, since the rules specifically discourage excessive amounts of toe steps. This is no problem for Virtue and Moir, because, Shaw says, they are the most powerful skaters in the world. Speed is just the velocity across the ice, no matter how you get there. It is not the same as power. Some are fooled by speed, but how is it generated? Virtue and Moir have a hidden power, that comes from deep knee bends, and it allows them to float across the ice. Their stroking is so smooth and well-matched, that it appears effortless.


Is there a LAW somewhere that says one can't say the names of Davis and White, can't point out that they DON'T do these things? That the excessive toe action and two-footing that enables speed without glide and big curves is discouraged by the rules, not meant to be rewarded by the rules with record-shattering scores?

It is COMPETITION. Why are Virtue and Moir's competition not mentioned in this article?

Every single point loudly and implicitly tells us that Charlie and Meryl do NOT do what Virtue and Moir do, that everything they do is dumbed down and inferior.

What use is implication? WHY is it against the political law to CALL OUT MERYL AND CHARLIE.

Smith here cites unattributed experts and attributed experts, she speaks from an informed perspective, she understands the sport, she understands the rules, but she will not mention that Meryl and Charlie have been rewarded this year, and most assuredly this weekend, and next week, for skating that is manifestly, by the rules, inferior to Scott and Tessa's.

WHY NOT?

What’s more, Virtue and Moir can vary their speed and change direction seamlessly – important in the transitions category of the program component mark and also the choreography category to some extent. They can slow to a stop, and then regain top speed in three or four strokes. The variation of speed allows for the shades and light of interpretation. They change dance holds frequently, easily, eschewing the same-direction skating that is so much easier. “Their movement from one hold to another is just like little rose petals unfolding,” Shaw said. “It’s superb. They skate in close relation all the time. But you are never aware that they are changing hold. They sort of fold into each other – and I think that is superior to anybody.”

Footwork? Virtue and Moir have challenging footwork with big curves. The size of the curve that a skater’s edge creates is important, and never more so than in footwork sequences. Virtue and Moir trace huge arcs with their edges both into and out of their turns. They have dainty, precise feet.

Lifts? From a young age, when Virtue and Moir began to learn more difficult lifts, Virtue was taught to feel like she was doing the lift herself, rather than the male partner forcing the woman somewhere and the women reacts. “She moves herself from one position to another and she doesn’t wait for Scott to move her,” says Marijane Stong, known for her knowledge of dance, music, and costuming. “That was when she was quite young and she has maintained that. Ballet dancers don’t wait for the man to put them somewhere.”

In other words, Virtue has an ability to manage her own body in the lifts. Rather than Moir supporting Virtue, there are fewer points of contact between them during a lift, and Virtue extends her own free leg, without help from the partner. The positions in their lifts require a lot of strength in Virtue’s core and hips and back. Their style of stroking also is taxing on the legs, knees and thighs. This team is physically strong.


This is a waste of time. Everybody knows Virtue and Moir can do these things. Nobody is calling out that Davis & White DON'T do these things. The sport didn't hesitate to call out Plushenko's deficiencies in 2010 - the lack of transitions, the posing, the absence of non-jump content. They didn't just hype Lysacek - they went after Plushenko, specifically. Frank Carroll pointed out he saw a lot of jumps in Plushenko's programs and not much else - that was his reaction to the scores.

How come only in ice dance has everybody been silenced about Meryl and Charlie? Beverly Smith giving more support to Tessa and Scott than they've bothered to generate for themselves is pointless when the scoring is all "Us too - PLUS" for Davis and White. The only value in this type of deconstruction is to point out what Davis and White are NOT doing and ask why they're scored as if they are. And even in Canada, one dares not say.

Every word of this has Davis and White between the lines. Every syllable. Yet Smith won't or dares not come out and say it.

Moreover, it's only days before the first event. Why did she wait this long?

I'm just amazed, amazed, that someone in the skating world is bringing all of this up but failing to mention Davis and White and only getting specific about Virtue and Moir's superiority when it's too late.

225 comments:

  1. "Of course the team dance is tomorrow, so this accomplishes precisely nothing:"

    Pairs and men are tomorrow. The SD isn't until Saturday.

    And who knows, maybe it isn't too late.

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  2. I agree with this assessment. Smith's piece is a great, detailed breakdown of what V/M do on the ice that makes them superior to every other team. But people have been making these same arguments on the boards and here on the blog for years now. It's great that they've been transferred to the mainstream media via this article, and bolstered by quotes from skating experts. However, if the intent of the piece is to serve as some kind of shot over the bow at the judges, or to force the public to see that V/M's not winning head-to-head with D/W is a blatant indicator that the sport is not abiding by its rulebook - it misses the mark entirely.

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    1. It misses the mark because it refuses to address the actual issue - which is that Davis and White are inferior skaters and have been rewarded contrary to the rules and criteria set down in CoP. And yet the agenda of this article is implicitly to say that Virtue and Moir are better because they do it and Davis White don't. It couldn't be more obvious with the remark about generating speed on your toes instead of knee compression and glide. But Beverly Smith just laid out the case for Virtue and Moir and refused to do the equivalent AGAINST Davis and White, and that is the core issue. Virtue and Moir ARE rewarded. But then Davis and White get their points and add ons. The issue isn't VM - it's Davis White. So this article is a fail. It would not be a fail only if Smith had pointed out all the things that mark superior skating and observed that Davis and White do NOT do this.

      12:11 - thanks for the correction - I corrected it in the post. This is the sort of thing that ought to have been done ALL YEAR and last year as well. Why on earth is someone in Canadian figure skating only speaking up two days before the games? How specific IS she? Incredibly so. These aren't state secrets she's imparting. Why is she bringing it up only now? Why the silence and the pretense the teams are equal - even in Canada - until now?

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    2. The timing makes it look like a desperate attempt at gold. Nice article and all (I don't have an issue with keeping the DW comparisons implicit) but it's way too late.

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    3. "Virtue and Moir ARE rewarded. But then Davis and White get their points and add ons. The issue isn't VM - it's Davis White."

      Right. This has been the reality for the past three years and something I think some people still mix up in their heads. V/M have always been rewarded for what they do on the ice, which is what others cannot do. Praising V/M's skating in such a detailed manner is great. But acknowledgment of the superiority of their bladework, lines, mechanics, etc., has never been the problem. They've always gotten the points for those things. D/W are gifted points and placed above them because they can't overcome the natural gap that exists between them and V/M. A natural gap that, given D/W's core deficiencies, is HUGE. THAT is what needs to be laid out in detail. It isn't happening in this piece.

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    4. It's glaring because the entire purpose of this article appears aimed at taking down Davis White. Why else would the mechanics of the lifts get so specific? Virtue manages her own body! She supports the extension of her own leg! There are few points of contact between her and her partner! She's not pushed into place!

      Who does the opposite of all of this - among all of the top skaters? Davis White! Most other teams try to do what Virtue and Moir do, only with less difficulty, less skill. So why make such a point of - wow she manages her own body in space! She can extend her own leg without Moir holding it for her! They're not pasted all over each other!

      Neither are the Shibs, neither are P/I, neither are W&P, neither do B&S, neither do P&B - not as much as DW. This article is making a comparison but refuses to NAME the comparison.

      Why isn't it permitted? Ashley Wagner's proponents for putting her on the team were happy to recite where she's superior (or at least her track record) to Nagasu and even to Gold all day long. People who praised V&T in pairs are delighted to talk about why, when clean, they're untouchable. In men, there is an ongoing, specific discussion about whether the particulars of Patrick Chan's skill set, as exhibited and executed in his programs, should be enough to elevate him over well done programs by his nearest competitors.

      But one can't compare Davis and White's SKATING to Virtue and Moir's SKATING. Not even people IN skating dare do that. In this article, Davis and White are the Great Unnamed, because they can't be criticized overtly. WHY? I can see the N.A. media going there, but why people inside skating from another country - from several other countries?

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    5. And again - it begs the question - Beverly Smith has been writing skating pieces all year. WHY is she basically burying this piece right at the commencement of the games. Why didn't she write it prior to the Grand Prix Final?

      None of this is random.

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  3. "Totally agreed that this is an outstanding piece. Contrast this to that garbage piece written by Joe Posnanski's NBC, that spewed garbage such as "Davis and White are routinely called the best ice dancing tandem ever" without qualifying any of it in skating terms".

    Exactly! Get this article on social media ASAP.

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    1. Here's the larger problem being missed: Smith writes a lovely piece about V/M being the best ice dance team and backs it up with skating breakdowns. Posnanski writes a piece about D/W being the best ice dance team and backs it up with non-skating inanity.

      The pieces off-set one another and V/M gain nothing. It becomes "Canadian experts argue their team is the best, Americans argue theirs is, I guess that argument will be put to rest in Sochi."

      NO. It won't be put to rest in Sochi unless V/M come out on top, and the fact that they haven't been IS THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM that no one is talking about. It is THE issue and Smith is silent on that.

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    2. 12:39 - precisely.

      And WHY the media is silent - why skating insiders are silent when the media freely compares and contrasts top competitors in other disciplines is the other elephant in the room.

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    3. You know in general this quad - the commentators and media have failed all disciplines. But everyone is right - DW is the BIG ELEPHANT in the room. In defence of Bev Smith, at least she has put together an article based on technical skills etc. Is it too late? Yes - but that's on Skate Canada...Hell this article had more oomph in it than anything that Tracy Wilson or PJ Kwong had written for either CBC or tsn over the last quad...and don't get me started on Kurt Browning...Slipchuk big fail here...perhaps the only motive for writing this piece is to have a clean slate for other Canadian dance teams in the future...if that's the case...well good luck with that...after these Olympics - figure skating will fall off the radar until the next Olympics...that's how the ISU rolls..

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    4. And even if comparisons occur, they must be about more than breakdowns of who has superior skating mechanics - it has to be about the fact that one team is skating their programs and one team is not. It can't be sugarcoated. It has to be: "D/W are being handed victories for things they aren't doing on the ice, period."

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    5. I think that by getting so specific about what VM do with their blades, by pointing out how speed is generated, what big curves look like, by describing what is actually entailed in difficult transitions, by describing what superior lifts look like - Smith intended for people to understand these are things Davis and White are NOT doing. But it's pointless unless she says "Davis and White aren't doing this, yet are winning" and she won't.

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    6. That's why appreciate canadablue's comparison videos. The proof is there. How come a sport journalist like Scott Russell or even Brenda Irving who work at the CBC can't have their producers do a video-analysis. You see it in alpine skiing, gymnastics, track and field...it's because these broadcasters are lazy...it will be interesting to see with so many new extreme events at this olympics whether NBC or CBC will try to breakdown the mechanics of these sports...But OC you are right - why hasn't ANYONE including other coaches taken any swipes at DW? Hell even Michelle Kwan was not this teflon proof...

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    7. @ 2:27

      I have been wondering myself why skating experts are so reluctant to criticize DW. I have never seen a skater or team be protected to this extent. And the situation is the same on the message boards. You can give negative criticism about any other team or skater but DW. Some DW ubers will pitch fits, call anyone criticizing DW stupid, crazy, mean-spirited, etc. and send them nasty PMs. It is ridiculous that a real discussion can't take place there.

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  4. I just wish that VM used their show to establish that they are the greatest ice dancers in the history of the sport. hands down. no one comes close, not even torville and dean

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    1. I wish so too, 1:55.
      When it was first announced VM were doing a documentary I was excited to see how they developed their programs and lots of information about skating. Instead, VM have prostituted themselves for the sake of fictional soap opera. It's a freaking Olympic season, who the hell ever cared who Scott canoodles in his downtime. Everything about that show has been grotesque. Bah.

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  5. I actually think Smith wanted to share a comparison between TS and MC (because now she wants to share that in her blog), but Skate Canada didn't let her do that and gave her only 100 words. They do not want to shut down the rivalry. It's a cash cow. Cinquanta said in an article that someone proposed to the ISU to combine ice dance and pairs. Idiots. I think that ice dance should be removed without a correct evaluation. Hate to say that, but DW's pr machine is too big, and Skate Canada knows it, we can't do anything. Everything we know is going to happen unless TS do a miracle. Howerver, I believe in them, though everything says that it's too late.

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    1. It is NOT a cash cow and never has been. Even NBC put on Virtue Moir by mistake. It's a lazy, knee-jerk way to talk about ice dance and that's IT.

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    2. Yeah, when i say "cash cow" I mean a big deal. There are so many people that don't know anything about ice-dance technique all over the world and are amazed by DW's performances. They pay to see those performances. An ignorant public is easier to be manipulated with an ambiguous scoring system. If they really cared about justice and rulebooks, they should put VM on top of the podium in every single competition. But that's a boring narrative. I've been reading that this "rivalry" is boring for many fans. They don't care about skating, they want to enjoy the competition, have fun and be thrilled to watch a battle for the gold.
      ISU, SC and company care only about power and control on fans and the media, yes, they are jerks and lazy. Everyone has an interest in a niche sport like ice dance.

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  6. Just finished listening to TSL's Olympic predictions shitshow...OF COURSE, they predicted a slam dunk win for D/W, without qualifying their win with anything to do with skating, only that the "construction' of their program is better (whatever the fuck that means); that Dave idiot went so far to say the V/M were "phoning it in" with a program "they don't really believe in". I'm thinking WTF? The only two phoning it in is D/W with that re-tread of all their past programs.

    It gets worse...then they went on to predict their dream and nightmare podiums, and that Dave dickhead actually said that the Shibs were on his nightmare podium, because if they were to win a medal, the US would be shut out of medals for the next 10 years. He can't fathom that D/W "winning" will utterly destroy the sport and any credibility it has (if it had any to begin with).

    If anything good comes out of this shitshow that's going to be Sochi, I really hope a controversy blows up the sport. It won't happen, but here's to dreaming.

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  7. "This article implicitly takes down Davis and White - but fails to mention Davis and White. Why?"

    Because it's Skate Canada's website, not her personal blog or editorial. SC wants to be neighborly and shit. They have been very timid about rocking the boat in any way, as have the Canadian commentators.

    It's been decided like two years ago. Russia is getting pairs, Canada is getting men, US is getting dance, and South Korea or Japan is getting ladies (maybe they'll give Japan two silvers and a bronze in exchange for letting Kim win).

    If SC rocks the boat, they're putting at risk their opportunity to have their first men's champion - and he's not even gay! He's a sacred cow.

    Interesting that Russia is upsetting the apple cart a bit and Lipnitskaya is starting to get traction (cover of Time's international edition, lots of great PR, and skating both segments of team event). Good for them. No federation should let a talented skater be sold out for someone else. Let V&T win their gold by skating well.

    Oh, if Russia sells everyone out and ends up with straight golds, how I would laugh, and laugh, and laugh at SC and D&W.

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    1. Anon at 4:38 pm - Honestly at this point - I would be good with either VT or SS winning gold in pairs, anybody but DW winning gold in ice dance, Lipnitskaya, Kim, Mao or Suzuki winning in ladies and Hanyu winning for the men (because Brian Orser is one hell of a coach and has been independent of Skate Canada)...I have nothing against Chan but he has clearly been Skate Canada's poster boy for a very long time and has had every opportunity given to him in terms of choreographers and coaches. Is he talented - hell yes. But is he as passionate about the sport as others - I would guess no. One of the reasons I enjoy VM is because I truly believe that both of them are passionate about the sport - same with the Japanese skaters and some of the Russian skaters. Yes they want results - but they push themselves. Its absolute bullshit that Patrick Chan cannot come up with 2 new programs every year. He and Skate Canada can afford it.
      So like you I would so laugh if the Russian Federation outmaneuvered both SC and the USFSA...it would be so worth it - just to hear the NBC commentators have a meltdown...

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    2. if the russian feds could knock d/w out of the podium, i would love them forever. but alas, thats a pipe dream

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  8. Let's take this article for what it is instead of worrying about what it's not. If VM don't beat DW in both segments this weekend, let's raise hell. It'll be out there and fresh. The media loves a controversy, and there's nothing riper than an Olympic controversy.

    The team event gives a unique opportunity to scope out the politics before the actual events start. What if the BS/SP drama in SLC had happened during the Team Event? There is no way BS would have been allowed to win. Every judge would have had a good old "talking to."

    Other than the ISU facebook page, what methods of contacting TPTB do we have? Let's list official Olympics, ISU, IOC, NBC, etc twitter accounts, facebooks, websites, and other outlets.

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    1. You know who would be all over this? Dick Pound, Canada's representative to the IOC. In the lead-up to Vancouver, he was very critical about the anonymous judging, calling figure skating "a nightmare sport". Four years onwards, it's a fucking horror show:

      http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/11/is-the-judging-in-figure-skating-still-rigged/

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    2. I just want to throw this out there now that I've been thinking about it. Yes, DW is implicitly taken down between the lines, but this is not an actual newspaper article, editorial, or blog entry. It's VM's athlete profile for the SC website. It's not even on something that would be the equivalent of ice network because SC has no such thing. Beverly Smith wrote the profiles for all of the Canadian skaters headed to Sochi. I don't think a one of those profiles directly calls out a competitor. My guess is that part of the things is coming from SC, but Beverly Smith was trying to say what she could between the lines.

      This is another thing I thought of this afternoon. Just like we're not privy to everything going on behind the scenes with VM's personal life, we're not all privy to everything going on behind the scenes politically. There could be more to this than we think by just taking this at face value.

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    3. Exactly... calling DW out in VM's athlete bio would be inappropriate and unsportmanlike, just as much as it would be to bash Hanyu and Fernandez in Chan's.

      Skate Canada should have gotten skate buzz up years ago to answer all of the icenetwork bullshit, but they didn't.

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    4. Good find - anon at 5:22 pm...Dick Pound is an interesting character and a fairly straight shooter...if you look at this bio - and the fact that he was president of WADA (anti-doping agency in sports and called out Lance Armstrong - years ago) - let's just say this guy has ruffled feathers over the years and perhaps it was one of the reasons why he was not elected as president of the IOC...

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    5. Anon 5:57, what more do you think is going on politically than we know about? Do you think somebody might get gun shy at the moment of truth and not go along with the established narrative of D/W "winning"?

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    6. In the past, OC has pointed out to us that VM don't live their entire lives in real time in front of cameras in regards to the fans who try to figure out what's going on with them just based on that. I feel like the same is true of skating politics. Not all of skating politics is conducted in the press for everyone to see. There are things that go on and are discussed that are not put out for public consumption in some way. Names aren't named in this, but the implication that that this is calling out DW is clear. This is the first time that even this has happened. I wonder if there's chatter of some sort about this going on in closed quarters. Take into consideration that tweet after the GPF from WP's choreographer about discussions being had. I think something is afoot, and it may not be bad news for VM.

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    7. My impression is the timing is so people can slap a halo on their heads without impacting the result, which is DW gold. If the narrative were being arrested, DW would be NAMED in articles that promoted VM. They're not.

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  9. Not about the article, but does anyone know if married couples can room together at the Olympics or if this is a piece of co-shamming?

    https://twitter.com/WeaverPoje/status/431154311243264000/photo/1

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    1. LMAO! I'm sure married couples can room together. That's really funny. Killing two birds with one stone.

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    2. I can't find the article right now, and I can't remember which Olympics, but there was a married couple who were forced to room separately by their Olympic committee. I do wonder if Gordeeva/Grinkov stayed together in Lillehammer.

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    3. I'm @6:34. I think that the NOC of the married couple who were lodged in different rooms gave the reason as to avoid possible distraction or something like that. Maybe they were concerned that married sex would tire the athletes out before their events. :) But when this happened it was probably years ago.

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    4. I just googled. The couple competed for Australia and it happened in 2012.

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    5. I think people should remember that not all the athletes stay in the Olympic Village. Though maybe for security reasons, it might be preferable to stay in the Village at Sochi.

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    6. It's also possible that V/M (or other athletes) will say publicly they're staying in the Village, but will not actually be doing so.

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    7. "I think people should remember that not all the athletes stay in the Olympic Village. Though maybe for security reasons, it might be preferable to stay in the Village at Sochi."

      Definitely so with not all athletes staying in the village, but this Olympics is not like others.

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  10. It happened in the 2012 Olympics: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-fourth-place-medal/married-olympic-couple-angry-over-roommate-discrimination-215314832--oly.html

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  11. "can't find the article right now, and I can't remember which Olympics, but there was a married couple who were forced to room separately by their Olympic committee. I do wonder if Gordeeva/Grinkov stayed together in Lillehammer."

    According to Gordeeva's book, she and Sergei had a house, and they shared it with M&D (their nearest rivals) and I believe someone else. They weren't in the Village (this was Lillehammer).

    I don't think the Olympic committee separated the married couple in question (if it's Shen & Zhao, who reputedly were separated during Vancouver) but the Chinese Federation. Clearly, roommate assignments are flexible. Are they going to forbid opposite sex assignments ONLY if married? Officially (unoffically is another story) Tanith Belbin roomed with Johnny Weir in Vancouver. Crone & Poirier also roomed together. It's obviously clear that one can officially have one room assignment - or pretend to have - but switch out and spend it with the significant other if that's how someone wants to play it.

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    1. Well with the Canadian team this year - there is an even number of females and an odd number of males. Will be interesting to find out who got a room all to themselves...perhaps Chan..I mean he did arrive in Sochi before anybody else with Barb MacDonald...

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    2. Despite asking a few questions, my actual guess is that the photo is indeed co-shamming between VM and WP. They say Andrew is rooming with Dylan Moscovitch, but that's just what they say and we know they can say anything.

      I'm wondering if they're going to tell us that Scott is rooming with Patrick. I expect more messaging that there's no way that VM are staying together and there's also no way WP are staying together.

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    3. I don't think any man got a room to himself -- there seem to be some cases where athletes are being put three to a room.

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    4. anon@10:38 There was definitely a photo recently floating around where there were 3 beds in 1 room. I think hockey players were to be staying there, and people online were joking about how the beds were too small for the big guys.

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  12. This is a bit OT, but how does one know if one's tweet has been received? Or if someone replied to you? Because I've tweeted to skaters and other people before and it felt like I was talking to myself. I couldn't tell if I did something wrong with the settings, or the persons chose to ignore me. Twitter did say that my messages were sent.

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    1. If your account is set to protected, the only people who will be able to see your tweets (though they go out anyway) are those who follow you.

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    2. @11:25PM Thanks. I will check my settings to see if that's the case. I can still view my sent tweets when I google my account though (not logged in). I thought you can't view a protected account's tweets when you try to google it. I might be ignored. :/

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  13. Slightly O/T, but from FSU:

    interview with Valentin Nikolaev (coach of Petrenko and Baiul)
    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?91011-Vaitsehovskaya-s-interview-with-Valentin-Nikolaev-%28coach-of-Petrenko-and-Baiul%29

    The whole thing is a good read. Notice how he's willing to go into specific technical criticism on the ladies and men, but not the dance - not that he, a singles coach, would, but it's another example of a larger problem. He gets right down the amount of snow on the landing of a CLEAN jump. I don't agree with everything he says, but he has some good examples of skating skills:

    Q: You were talking about the speed in the beginning of our talk. Do you think that Lipnitskaya and Sotnikova are slower than Kim and Asada?

    A: The speed itself doesn't have much importance. What important is the cleanness of the gliding. And that is a natural quality. One can develop it but not teach. Oksana Baiul had the absolutely clear skating, out of the skaters of the past, Sergey Volkov had it as well. The American Tim Wood skated even better. In his programs he did a couple of double axels, some off axis salcow, but you couldn't take your eyes of his skate. Everything was clean, accurate, every turn was flying.

    Q: Who has this quality?

    A: Patric Chan, Tomas Verner, Yudzuru Hanyu. The last one is slightly wobbly on the ice, like all the Japanese, but he glides. The same can be said about Carolina Kostner. She might not jump at all, but people will look at her.

    Q: And what about the widespread opinion that Kostner skates fast only because her steps are not very difficult?

    A: It's not true. The majority of the steps that Kostner does, very few other ladies can repeat as clean. I saw how she works on the steps - I had several seminars in Obersdorf and noticed that if you say to her coach about some new exercises, in 15 minutes Carolina is going to try to make them on the other rink. And moreover, all the exercises are already changed to suit her. And she does them until get the absolute cleanness, and then she increases the speed. And she works on that for hours.

    What many people nowadays call difficult steps often are just running on the ice on the toepicks - much like with the ice-dancers. Once upon a time, Christopher Dean very well answered the question what was the difference between their skating and the Soviet one.

    Q: And what was it?

    A: He and Jane Torvill always skated on the edges and not on the straight line.

    Q: Tatiana Tarasova semi-jokingly said in the last European Chamionships that she considers the peak of her coaching career the work with Mauricio Margaglio, who couldn't skate on the edges at all.

    A: I fully agree with Tarasova in that. It's a special coaching ability - to find the instruments so that a sportsman who has rather mediocre abilities started winning over much more talented rivals. A figure skater, for whom skating on edges is a problem, has to "run" on the ice to create the impression of gliding. That's what Oleg Protopopov did once, mixing different running steps on the ice. And I myself noticed an interesting rule: the same way a person walks, that way he skates. All the great gliders walk like hunters. Those who hit the floor with their heels so hard that the entire house shakes, won't glide no matter how much you work with them. I suppose "the huters" are different in some small motorics. And when they're on the ice, they instinctively find any opportunity to go faster.
    ....
    Q: What are you talking about?

    A: Just about the boyish sharpness of movements. This is something that happened with Slava Zagorodnyuk and Viktor Petrenko. While Slava was skating, he was doing all the triples, with great flight and speed. But then the undertrained Viktor gets onto the ice, does a couple of crossovers - and it's as if Slava didn't even exist. When you can compare people on the same ice, the difference between a mature man and a boy is obvious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really interesting read. Thank you for posting it. It is nice to see him going into specifics about technique and naming actual skaters. Why can't more figures skating interviews and articles be like this?

      Delete
  14. Article in the NY Times about judging; all scorned heaped on Patrick C, very little on ice dancing, EXCEPT of course the Canadian judge in Vancouver:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/06/sports/olympics/despite-revamped-system-for-judging-figure-skating-gets-mixed-marks.html?hpw&rref=sports&_r=0

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The judging system is flawed. But since scoring is anonymous, the brunt of public anger goes to the skater, whether it's Chan last Worlds, Ashley this past US nationals, etc.

      That 2006 Turin Olympics bronze for Ukraine was dodgy, but wasn't the ice dance event there full of freaky falls?

      Finally, the article is stamped with American holier-than-thou moral superiority. The US never politicked? Seriously. Some of Michelle Kwan's international golds could have arguably been silvers.

      Delete
    2. This article is ridiculous, and this same American moral superiority is present at FSU. Apparently Russia and France are eville, buying medals and results for BS and PB, and the poor, meek USFSA just relies on their skaters' superior performances. And if you bring up the USFSA politicking, you get accused of anti-American sentiment.

      and lol at PB, one of the most screwed-over teams of the last quad. They are head and shoulders above DW but can never get close to them in the marks. When they did approach their scores, they were dropped the next season--why is that? and yeah, PB deserved silver in Nice.

      Delete
  15. I WAS JUST ABOUT to post the nytimes aritlce anon 715!! how is virtue moir davis white NOT In this article?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Patrick Chan stepped out of the triple axel. Ha. Ha. Ha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it will be interesting to see if Chan does the long in the team event...I doubt it..but there is a reason why Hanyu is doing well - Mr. Brian Orser...he delivered with Kim in Vancouver and he might do the same in Sochi with Hanyu...I like Patrick but when he decided that he didn't need a technical coach after Christy Krall - I was like - hmmm..no...

      Delete
    2. And Jeremy Abbott semi-bombed - yikes...onwards to the pairs...

      Delete
    3. Abbott bombing definitely means that DW will be given the win in ice dance for the US. It's not that it wasn't the most likely scenario to begin with, but now it's definite. VM's only hope for the individual was to win at least one segment over DW in the team event, and that certainly isn't happening now.

      Delete
    4. Well let's see where the pairs finish today but you know I don't think anything is a given - I wouldn't be surprised if the US gets snubbed in figure skating - If Mao and Suzuki skate well for Japan - Japan might squeeze in there for the bronze..Lipitskaya will get a boost over Gold or Wagner...it's interesting how Plushenko's marks are all over the place...

      Delete
    5. LOL @ SC if it actually turns out they put their eggs in the wrong basket

      Delete
  17. Tessa and Scott are such assholes, especially towards their current child, and now, any other children they have in the future.

    "There is a definite sense of melancholy with the pair, behind the excitement of being at another Olympics. Virtue said they often talk about where they will be as friends down the road.

    “We talk about when we’re old and doing ballroom dance together,” she said.

    “And babysitting each other’s kids and stuff like that,” added Moir."

    They already share one kid. Once there is another child, the statement becomes Tessa's kids are Scott's and Scott's kids are Tessa's. It's not babysitting. It's parenting your shared children.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was from this article: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/02/06/sochi-about-more-than-just-medals-for-moir-virtue

      I guess they have to even throw their additional children that haven't been born yet under a bus too.

      Delete
    2. There's Scott being clever, as "each other's" kids are and will be the same kids.

      oc

      Delete
    3. Look at this http://ca.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/0201402064961/tessa-virtue-and-scott-moir-on-the-sochi-olympics-meeting-the-queen-and-those-relationship-rumours

      Delete
  18. I was just watching CL at Euros again, and am I the only one who thinks that even they have surpassed DW? Their lifts are obviously in another league, but Anna has improved her technique a lot. Even with her difficulties, she doesn't rely on her partner to drag her around, and she isn't running on toe picks for a lot of the program. And of course CL are in another league in terms of dancing. Wow, DW have really fallen behind.

    ReplyDelete
  19. DW ubers are so passive aggressive on GoldenShit, or GoldenSkate. Apparently V/M's SD are doing the wrong rhythms while D/W's captures foxtrot/quickstep perfectly, and V/M's FD is Punsalan/Swallow 2.0. I particularly love this quote from, blackswanphoto regarding D/W's skating:

    http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?44122-What-will-happen-in-Ice-Dancing-this-year/page11

    "I love the running, I love the overacting, I love the bunny hops", because apparently that what makes them "special". I think that says it all.

    It irritates me that no US/Canada commentator will have the guts to call out D/W's inferiority. If V/M were American, and D/W Russian, could you imagine the backlash?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That blackswanphoto poster is delusional; the shit they say is unbelievable. That Matt K guy holds them in check.

      Delete
    2. Um, no. I dance and I can tell you that DW are doing foxtrot/quickstep all wrong. ALL WRONG. Easily the weakest SD of the top 6 teams. Esily.

      Delete
    3. What they're doing is closer to a waltz than a foxtrot, but it's not even a proper waltz.

      Delete
    4. And apparently VM's Finnstep is not "light and frothy" like the dance is described. Excuse me, I didn't see Petri Kokko singling out DW by name. VM must be doing something right with their SD to garner praise from Finnstep creator. Also, DW must be "light and frothy" from doing all those hops on the ice. And waltzing.

      Delete
    5. @5:22, of course no one is going to call DW out. Canadian. Men's. Gold.

      Not that I have total confidence in Chan after that SP. And he really does himself no favors when he talks to the media.

      Delete
    6. If I were betting, I'd put my money on Hanyu.

      Delete
    7. Why am I surprised? These people probably think Meryl Davis is the igure skating version of Anna Pavlova. Look at how some of them talk about DW's "ballet".

      And how can anyone call what they do a foxtrot? It is stiff and bouncy.

      Delete
    8. I don't have a goldenskate account, but why doesn't someone just post the tweet from Kokko?

      And I found the source of the cartoon/parody thing: http://web.icenetwork.com/news/2014/01/23/66850542/who-framed-the-finnstep-rahkamo-and-kokko

      If Icenetwork can't get them to say something about D/W in a piece where they praise V/M, I don't think they think highly of their interpretation either. And I also find the quote about V/M suspect, it feels like the second half has been added to that paragraph to make it seem that maybe they didn't think V/M got it right either.

      Delete
    9. @8:22, People already did. Kokko was complimentary of VM last year at Finlandia Trophy. I'm not sure if VM was the only team he mentioned by name, but he definitely did not single out DW.

      Delete
    10. 9:08, where? I don't see anything about his tweet in that thread.

      Delete
    11. Of course you wouldn't find it on GS, lol.

      https://twitter.com/coccco/status/386749972378841088
      12:09 AM - 6 Oct 13
      Petri Kokko (1995 European Ice Dance Champion and World Silver Medalist on whose OD the FinnStep pattern dance is based)
      @Virtue_Moir 's beautiful #Finnstep at the #Finlandia Trophy.
      Makes its founders proud :-)

      Delete
    12. I've seen the tweet. My original question at 8:22 was - why doesn't someone respond to that thread by posting the tweet?

      Delete
    13. who the hell are puslan and swallow lol

      Delete
  20. Just FYI - I saw a fluff on TV tonight - and V/M have added an option to their "people want to label our relationship" bit . Is it a marriage, is it a brother and sister, is it "a secret life no one knows about".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are certifiable.

      It would be that last option, secret life that no one knows about except for all of the people who do.

      Delete
    2. http://www.sportsnet.ca/olympics/mission-gold-tessa-virtue-scott-moir/

      Delete
    3. The level of smug they're publicly displaying right now is the highest it's ever been with them.

      People can maintain they're well protected and can get away with saying whatever they want, but reality is always more convoluted than that. V/M had better be careful. They are not, nor will they ever be, immune from having this entire charade come crashing down around them. The more they up the ante, the greater the chance they'll end up doing themselves in eventually.

      Delete
    4. Well - I've said before that by the end of this Olympics - we are not going to be loving either DW or VM for different reasons. VM with the level of smug with the personal crap and the level of smug from DW with their skating...I need a drink...

      Delete
  21. just saw this on this pairs and ice dance blog. interesting to see how DW's scores keep going up while their skating regresses:

    http://www.twofortheice.com/2014/02/06/olympics-pre-game-analysis/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks anon at 9:16 pm. The biggest game changer has been the increase in PCS in the SD over the last quad. These numbers don't lie. No wonder DW are walking around Sochi without a care in the world....and think about about how every other skater in every discipline has improved since the last quad and they can pinpoint what they have improved upon to justify those increases...DW...recycled everything...and in the SDs -folks they haven't exemplified the patterns either...so put video analysis then add the numbers game and voila - surprise...the emperor has no clothes...yes Patrick Chan didn't have a great outing today but over the last quad - he upped his game - and then everyone upped theirs..the ladies have upped the game since the last quad...how have DW upped their game? Plushenko was overscored today - but hell you have to respect that this guy went out there and just said - I am going for it....sorry for the rant..

      Delete
    2. @9:36

      great rant! I have thought Patrick was a bit overscored on a few occasions, but overall I can say that he deserves his titles. His skating skills and the difficulty of his programs should give him a cushion. And he has really improved his interpretation. He is doing what CoP asks for better than anyone else.

      DW are getting a cushion when they are actually deficient in the area of skating skills and transitions compared to their peers. They are not doing what the rules ask for--as OC said, they are flouting the rules and being showered with 10s for it. I would so love it if someone counts the numbers of toe steps they do and compare it with the amount their competitors do.

      Delete
    3. oh, and they are doing fuck-all in terms of dance, especially in that horrid SD. That doesn't remotely resemble a foxtrot.

      Delete
  22. Marina is marching with DW and Shibs. It's to be expected, as it's 2 US teams vs 1 team from Canada, but it still feels like a punch to the stomach. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, neither DW VM will march. Competition tom.

      Delete
  23. don't like the free dance choice of outfits for VM. hopefully just for team dance and save better outfit for main event.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Posted by SLIVER from FSU in the Ice Dance Thread over at FSU:

    "L'EQUIPE ARTICLE CONFIRMING RUSSIA 'TO VOTE FOR D/W'

    A controversial article about judging in French paper L'Equipe today, I am sure we are going to get a 100 of them these Games. This one has a quote from an 'unnamed Russian coach' claiming that Russia will vote for D/W not V/M.

    « N'étant pas en concurrence directe, eux vont nous aider pour décrocher l'or par équipes et en couple, et nous les remercierons en votant pour les Américains Davis-White, face aux Canadiens Virtue-Moir, pour ce qui serait le premier titre olympique des États-Unis en danse. "

    Basically they are going to vote for us in the team event and pairs and we will return the favour in dance, giving the USA, the first gold medal in dance, sigh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fans in that thread are mentioning Rettstatt. He is Jacqui's facebook friend. http://daviswhite2014.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-shady-politic-machine-and-shady.html

      Delete
    2. Has anyone bothered to look at who else this guy is friends with? Dozens of skaters and coaches. I'm not saying there's no evidence that this guy might be lowballing V/M, but this facebook friend thing SAYS NOTHING.

      Delete
    3. The fact that he or any other judge is facebook friends with anyone involved in skating is a big red flag.

      Attorneys that I know are told they have to be extremely careful with social media and not friend anyone remotely involved with a case, even opposing counsel or judges that they may know socially.

      I heard Rettstatt is known as a big D&W fan in the USFS circles.

      Delete
    4. Of course it is, it's completely messed up that there's this social aspect to the skating world between judges and the judged - but because it IS like that, it's not PROOF of anything as far as THIS judge is concerned. There's a suspicious trend on panels that he appeared on. That's all we can say. To single out this one facebook friend connection is silly. I don't think, if he is indeed not scoring fairly, that he is doing so under the direction of the Moms.

      Delete
  25. spread the article, post it everywhere in regular news outlets, nbc twitter, in their comments thread, etc. start the controversy. it doesn't take that much.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Someone found a link to the online version of the article: http://www.lequipe.fr/Tous-sports/Article/Petits-arrangements-entre-amis/10186

    As 8:53 said, this needs to be spread everywhere.

    The paper this has been reported in is known as a very credible and legitimate sports newspaper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well well surprise surprise that the team event is the bargaining chip for DW...I hope this implodes figure skating...I still stand by the gold medal winners in Vancouver..perhaps someone should tweet this to PJ kwong, Joannie Rochette, Jeff Buttle, Kurt Browning and Beverly Smith..

      Delete
    2. Actually I would also tweet it to Marnie McBean, Peter Mansbridge of the CBC, Scott Russell of CBC, Brenda Irving of CBC, Robin Cousins, Skate Canada and even Johnny Weir...

      Delete
    3. L'equipe is a widely respected sports publication, so it is good that it appeared in this one. I hope people get this out on social media.

      Delete
    4. Can someone send this (email) to the Canadian judge?

      Delete
    5. If this is true, I hope the Russians double cross the Americans like they did to France in 2002 dance.

      Delete
    6. I wouldn't even be surprised if even skating parents within the USFSA are not liking what is obviously happening with DW...then you add how Mirai Nagasu was treated..how Gracie Gold has overnight been on talk shows etc...you'd have to turn a huge blind eye to see that the USFSA is not on the up and up...hell at this point the Japanese Federation is looking pretty good compared to everyone else...

      Delete
    7. Can someone email this to the Canadian ice dance judge? She won't be judging the Team Events but may be able to bring these allegations to question to her superiors/those involved.

      Delete
    8. And if there is any truth that the USFSA has been paying any portion of Zoueva's legal bills vis a vis Shpilband - yikes..

      Delete
    9. someone spread this around

      Delete
    10. Please let this explode! A SLC-like scandal would be great at this point

      Delete
    11. Look at this D/W fan already defending them http://meryldavis.tumblr.com/post/75918548823/article-for-the-figure-skating-ice-dance-judging

      Delete
    12. "If this is true, I hope the Russians double cross the Americans like they did to France in 2002 dance."

      me too LOL

      Delete
    13. I was just thinking earlier that if the Russians were pissed off at not getting any FS gold medals at Vancouver, well honestly, part of it was their own fault.

      Plushenko should not have left points on the table. He showed contempt for the new judging system, and so Lysacek won with a quadless yet code-whore of a program.

      Pairs were a mess (Trankov had lots of drama with former partner Maria M. and their coach, Kavaguti/Smirnov was not Moskvina's best work). And there were Germans and Chinese to contend with. Including Shen/Zhao.

      Ladies: lol no.

      Ice dance: Khoklova/Novitski were freaky. Shabalin was injured. Also, he and Domnina shot themselves in the foot with that insulting aboriginal dance. Which they performed in a politicallycorrect-conscious North American country. With a top ice dance team.


      Delete
    14. Anon at 12:57 pm - if I had to guess - yes the Russians may have started negotiating this year - but the DW crap has been going on for a while now...and then throw in the fact that Skate Canada has basically put all their eggs into one basket - Chan...and you get the present recipe...The 2010 Olympics - overall was fairly judged...to be honest as a Canadian - I can say that Mirai Nagasu was slightly robbed of a bronze medal in Vancouver in favour of Joannie Rochette..(but that's just my personal opinion)...But if these allegations of a fix are true - a lot of coaches/commentators knew about this and said NOTHING...especially with the results given to DW over the last 2 years and the icing on the cake was this year's GPF...Even if there is no confirmed scandal or no one mentions it...I think the fans who regularly follow ice dance - whether you are a fan of one team or another - they know something doesn't add up. Especially when you take a look at the recent article from ice-dance.com and the percentage increases for DW over the last quad...and for what...I know it's left a bitter taste in my mouth for all the ice dance teams and then by extension it does hurt others in the sport - when you start bargaining...hell VT need no help in getting their gold...I would pay good money to be sitting next to Stephane Lambiel and get his point of view on everyone's skating at these Olympics including what he thinks of Plushenko's overall skating skills...nothing personal...just talk about the skating..

      Delete
    15. Fixing happens every year. As Sliver posted on FSU, sometimes it's needed, sometimes it's not. If you think SC didn't politik like crazy (and have some support from other Feds) to get V/M's Vancouver gold, you're kidding yourself. This time, US wants a piece. Why shouldn't they get it? Maybe D/W can help bring some more excitement to the sport in the US and revive shows. It all depends on how they're packaged during the games. Maybe, with Scott Hamilton and Sandra at the wheel, the casual viewer will have tears in their eyes while watching D/W and will clamor for more.

      What the heck will V/M do with a gold? Spend 4 more years shamming? What a waste. Best to give the gold to someone else and have the possibility the sport revived, than to two losers who we know will do nothing but prolong a stupid sham, I say.

      Delete
    16. Are you serious - DW bringing back excitement to the sport and reviving shows? Have you seen their exhibitions? Meryl can't even shake her booty. If they had any appeal - DW would have already been front and center...Guess what Gracie Gold has gotten more coverage than DW in the last 3 weeks since nationals than DW since the last Olympics...

      Delete
    17. I don't know about that. Meryl can do a pretty good snake... ;)

      Delete
    18. " If you think SC didn't politik like crazy (and have some support from other Feds) to get V/M's Vancouver gold, you're kidding yourself."

      except no. V/M did not head into Vancouver 2 time world champions and unjustly undefeated for 2 years. V/M were injured, had a terrible GP season and lost GPF. why would SC put all their eggs in an injured V/M's basket? skate canada may be clowns but they arent that dense. and keep in mind they LOST the compulsory dance on home fucking turf, barely won the original dance but their FD was absolutely perfect. stark contrast to D/W's situation who are being held up so high despite their terrible performances. and we all learned from the 2013 world championships that hometown advantage does NOT exist for Virtue/Moir. They were the last ice dancers to EARN their OGM. not to mention that D/S were injured as well and D/W got deductions. and if skate canada politicked hard for them wheres the article claiming this is true? if vancouver ice dance competition was rigged in favour of V/M, V/M would've WON ALL THREE SEGMENTS.

      Delete
    19. 7:32 PM no one wants to watch her do the snake.

      Delete
    20. 7:08 PM do you actually have proof that vancouver 2010 was rigged?

      Delete
    21. US advertisers banking on the ladies comes from a mixture of tradition, winnability (streak of US medalists, Kwan's long career), beauty, personality (Cohen), an interesting personal story/tragedy.

      I think that while the US is hung up on the ladies, IMO DW would have been more marketable if they were less boring. Because let's face it, they are. They work hard, they're good students, close with their family, non-offensive and bland. They don't rock the boat. As for exhibitions, they really should steer clear of any romantic songs or Latin music, as they have no chemistry.

      Delete
    22. They really are boring lol. IIRC there was also one judge lowballing V/M in vancouver by giving them +1 GOE (save for the NtMlSt) for every element in the OD(whereas there was 2 judges that gave them 2 GOE for everything lol talk about lazy judging). really though 2010 was the last time the judging was fair. Poor V/M can never catch a break

      Delete
  27. Canadian ice dance judge - her email is jodi.abbott@norquest.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Posted by SLIVER from FSU in the Ice Dance Thread over at FSU:

      "L'EQUIPE ARTICLE CONFIRMING RUSSIA 'TO VOTE FOR D/W'

      A controversial article about judging in French paper L'Equipe today, I am sure we are going to get a 100 of them these Games. This one has a quote from an 'unnamed Russian coach' claiming that Russia will vote for D/W not V/M.

      « N'étant pas en concurrence directe, eux vont nous aider pour décrocher l'or par équipes et en couple, et nous les remercierons en votant pour les Américains Davis-White, face aux Canadiens Virtue-Moir, pour ce qui serait le premier titre olympique des États-Unis en danse. "

      Basically they are going to vote for us in the team event and pairs and we will return the favour in dance, giving the USA, the first gold medal in dance, sigh...

      Someone found a link to the online version of the article: http://www.lequipe.fr/Tous-sports/Article/Petits-arrangements-entre-amis/10186

      As 8:53 said, this needs to be spread everywhere.

      The paper this has been reported in is known as a very credible and legitimate sports newspaper.

      ********************************************************************************
      This needs to spread like wildfire.

      Delete
    2. hahaha. She is part of the Skate Canada establishment. Even if she isn't directly in on it, she sure as hell won't do anything to stop it. This is the issue, they are all in too deep and its too late. Far better that it all implodes and Skate Canada is purged.

      Delete
    3. Trying to contact Skate Canada is pointless because they are all a bunch of asses...this needs to gain traction with the media....G&M, BBC, the big European papers (a French and Italian team stand to get screwed here as well). The US media are gonna try to kill this.

      Delete
    4. The Canadian Olympic Committe, not Skate CHANada needs to be contacted.

      Delete
    5. ^^^^ fuck skate chanada. what about the IOC?

      Delete
    6. Well it would be interesting to tweet Tatjana Flade as well. She is probably aware of this - but to actually see it in writing from a French paper - yup I can see her saying - shit - if this is ever confirmed even after the olympics - it will have deep repercussions...also let's not forget that I don't think the German Federation - although not powerful - would appreciate it regarding S/S...Katarina Witt probably has very little pull but I don't think she would appreciate that her compatriots would automatically get second or third billing...and to think that S/S have remained in the sport - just to have a chance at Olympic Gold...especially since they won the GPF...it's possible with a mini meltown from VT...damn you ISU...

      Delete
    7. The IOC? Tatjana Flade? Why the heck for? The IOC is up to its eyeballs in this. Figure skating is a primetime sport, the US needs gold, and US money runs how the Olympics are televised. Television = money for IOC.

      How will this have deeper repercussions than all the other vote fixing that has happened every year since ice dance became an Olympic sport. Nothing is different here. Everyone in the sport has known this is the way things will go down for a long time now.

      As for BBC and the big European papers, honestly, they could care less. Figure skating isn't a real sport anyway. It's entertainment for women, with sparkles and sequins. A good scandal makes for good tv, so they might be interested in it from that angle, but doubt they'll be any outrage.

      Delete
    8. Anon at 6:48 pm - not for anything but the IOC itself is more concerned with talking figureheads and bureaucrats...do you actually think the IOC actually follows all sports on a yearly basis..please...especially the Winter Olympics are nowhere near as prestigious as the Summer Olympic events. US money and advertising is no longer what it used to be in the 1970s, 1980s and even early 1990s...US money does not run how the Olympics are televised..especially these Olympics in Russia...we've spoken before the powerbase in sport has shifted to Europe and Asia....so yes this is a small drop in a bucket in terms of sports scandals - it's not doping and these athletes haven't earned huge endorsement deals - but you can never tell what story has legs or not in the media...

      Delete
    9. "US money does not run how the Olympics are televised..especially these Olympics in Russia."

      Do you even know what you're talking about? Or are you too busy writing stream of consciousness to think about what you're actually writing?

      http://web.icenetwork.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130316&content_id=42839970&vkey=ice_news

      "According to Dore, the ISU considered holding the team event at the end of the Games, after figure skating had concluded. NBC, the U.S. television rights holder, wanted to stick with tradition and broadcast the ladies discipline as the final event.

      "You're fighting television contracts, and ladies is the big thing," Dore said. "U.S. television is the biggest monetary contributor to the IOC."

      Delete
  28. how can d/w let this happen to their training mates and "Friends" though? do they believe the only way to win an OGM over them is by having the figure skating feds fix the competition in their favour? they are so disrespectful. i hope they enjoy their tarnished gold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, why should they care? They want to win. There's no evidence they knew about this or directly caused it. They have their heads up their asses politiking themselves as being "great people" with a "soul to soul connection" who "work really hard." It's their prerogative. Everyone wants to put themselves in the best light, except Tessa and Scott.

      Delete
    2. they're such great people right? and such great friends to tessa and scott! and people are still complaining about scott's "its a piss off comment" tbh i'd be fuming if my so called "friends" treated me like garbage.

      Delete
    3. They are assholes and being great people is fake and political. But I doubt they feel bad for T&S being hosed.

      I really wish Meryl or Charlie would be caught in a live mic incident. Given the stuff they've said IN PUBLIC (see http://daviswhite2014.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-saints-marching-down-ice.html) I can't imagine how bad they would be when they thought no one was listening...

      Delete
    4. It's figure skating. Both V/M and D/W take advantage of it's culture that facilitates politicking, lying, and cover-ups.

      Delete
    5. I agree with 3:31.
      I am not saying DW are saints, but we really don't know if they knew about this.
      I wonder if they have maxed out their potential and they just can't fix their technical deficiencies? They seem well-trained, I don't doubt they work hard...maybe they just can't be better than they are? It is a shame that they will likely win when they really should be fighting for top 5

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    6. 7:55: It's ALL about the basics (IMO). If D/W went to Krylova or Zhulin, they wouldn't be successful because their choreography would expose all of their weaknesses in their skating.

      Delete
  29. Holy.Fucking.Shit. Another Bev Smith article. This one calling out DW's skating.

    http://www.canada.com/olympics/?p=86919

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    1. LOL. Perhaps SC has finally realized they don't have the goods to get Chan a gold medal. Too late with this, SC. What a bunch of fuck-ups.

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    2. ROFL! What is Bev Smith doing? Cutting and pasting from this blog?

      "Meanwhile, experts from Russia, a powerful ice dancing nation, have been puzzled about why Virtue and Moir didn’t win the 2013 world championships in London, Ont. "

      Hmm...maybe it would help if she talked to Russian experts who are actually part of the political part of the Russian federation...you know, the ones who worked with the US to get Russia bronze at Worlds last year. *rolls eyes* Come on, Bev....

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    3. Wow. She totally went in and went after Meryl Davis. When I was reading the beginning of the article, I thought she was just going to regurgitate the L'Equipe article.

      So ala SLC 2002. Except this time, it's not the French brokering with Russians, but the saintly Americans. It really is fucked up.

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    4. So where the hell was Bev all season long?

      SC is a federation run by a bunch of clowns. This desperate last minute attempt is pathetic.

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    5. I think this blog has been the most informative resource discussing this, but I also imagine that skating experts, who may or may not read this blog, are noticing the fake speed and other issues in their skating. Running and toes steps is something that Nikolaev talked about in that interview posted here (though not with direct reference to DW).

      Throw it down, Bev!

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    6. Anon at 7:17 - I agree with you but perhaps we need to distinguish that not all Russian experts (meaning coaches, technical experts etc) are part of the Russian federation that may have brokered the deal with the US....Bev Smith may be right that perhaps the source of the L'Equipe article is a Russian coach - whatever that is whistleblowing his/her own federation and the US...

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    7. bev smith is a fucking angel sent from the heavens.

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    8. "So ala SLC 2002. Except this time, it's not the French brokering with Russians, but the saintly Americans. It really is fucked up."

      and its the french media releasing the news LOL. how peculiar is that canadians are the victims once again.

      Delete
    9. Actually anon at 9:59 pm - I can't speak for everyone here, but the majority of posters at one point agreed that according to the actual skate - BS should have been the lone winners of the gold medal. Although Sale/Pelletier skated a clean program - they skated an easier program (a program that they had skated previously) than BS. As a Canadian I can say that that gold medal was not won by Sale/Pelletier - their gold medal was a consolation prize.
      I don't think anyone here is that naive that politics don't play a role in the sport - but it seems there are patterns that one is hard not to question over the last couple of years. I think we just want consistent judging by what is actually written in COP...and to answer your question - how are canadians victims - actually theoretically third place should be up for grabs for PB, BS, IK, WP and CL...would you want the Shibs or CB included in the list?

      Delete
    10. @9:59, I don't think that French media are squeamish about skewering their own. The original source is L'Equipe, a respected sports newspaper which broke the story of Lance Armstrong's doping. They were the ones who last year reported on the dissatisfaction of the Lyons-based figure skaters over Gaillaghuet's meddling; he wanted the French ice dance teams to train with Shpilband, but the skaters wanted to stay with their original coach. People who disagreed with him were ostracized.

      I think this has a lot to do with P/B being screwed over more than it's about V/M.

      As for the Canadians as victims, I do recall that US media weren't timid in crucifying the Russians back in 2002. They were probably even louder than their neighbors up north in protesting. This time around, it's not going to amount to anything, because why would you want to spoil the fairytale of a down-to-earth, hard-working, historic gold medal-winning American team?

      Delete
    11. I wonder which Russian coach the Russian federation pissed off. Because I can't believe someone talked to L'Equipe out of the goodness of their heart. This sport is not altruistic. Russian infighting must have been contentious for coaches to be 'Go Russia' in public and rage at being screwed over in private.

      Which Russian coach would benefit (as revenge) from this expose, I wonder? If he wasn't coaching B/S, I would have said Zhulin. Maybe Shpilband? I know he coaches Americans and is actually a naturalized US citizen, but DW and Shibs are with Marina, and his top teams (P/B and C/L) are in a vicious fight for bronze with Russian teams. On Russian soil. Maybe a pairs coach?

      Delete
    12. If we're going to go Russian but not necessarily living in Russia, Krylova and Linichuk are also possibilities.

      Delete
    13. Somebody on a message board mentioned Morozov. :/

      Delete
    14. My first thought was IGor too

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    15. I don't think it's Morozov because this situation benefits IK with a team gold and possible contention for bronze.

      Delete
  30. I don't care if Bev copy/pasted from a blog nor about this being last minute. The fact that it's getting out is what's important.

    What's the point of dissing these efforts? I rather be as supportive as possible. I'm thrilled anyone from legit media is saying something. It's about time this came out of the obscurity of fan blogs. Even if it's too late for VM, it's the principle of the matter that's important. I hope these articles cause a storm.

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    1. I agree. At least they can fix things for the future. I have watched ice dance for decades and have never seen the sport so dirty. I would like to continue watching it but it is becoming very difficult due to what is going on with the judging

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    2. ITA, 7:43. It would have been great if this had happened a year ago, 6 months ago, a month ago. We thought that this would never make it into the mainstream press, but here it is.

      The article is on canada.com, but the byline says it was written for the National Post and it's linked from the National Post's front page on their website.

      Delete
    3. So we've heard from Platov.Zhulin this past year..have there been any articles asking Ponamerenko's opinion..I can't remember if and which grand prix events he was the tech caller this year...

      Delete
    4. I have never heard of Ponomorenko commenting on any current skaters, even Russians. And really, that's how it should be, since he is a technical specialist.

      It all suddenly makes a lot more sense why Zhulin and Platov have suddenly started praising DW... it helps Russia's team chances.

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    5. And perhaps the reason why PB were cut off by Russia to continue training with Zhulin...

      Delete
    6. Of course the reason PB were booted out of Zhulin's camp was to favor Russian ice dance. No one else could touch the top 2 spots held by Canton, so Russia is going after bronze. And PB is in the way. It's actually convenient for them that PB lost training time because of injury.

      I have not heard that Zhulin was praising DW... Are there articles somewhere?

      Delete
  31. that ice dance blog did something on VM's step sequence:

    http://icedanceanalysts.blogspot.com/2014/02/whats-in-step-sequence.html

    I would love if they did a side-by-side with DW. They have one gif of DW doing a turn in another article and it is awful.

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    Replies
    1. How did VM not get all GOEs of +3 for that step sequence? What more could they have done? I suspect it was because DW were yet to skate.

      I would love to show this to everyone who think VM have regressed technically. Someone even said on FSU that DW were doing more difficult footwork than anyone. Funny, because they are all doing combinations of the same turns. And can anyone honestly say that the steps DW do in between are more difficult than anyone else's? Funny how these myths get spread around the online figure skating world.

      Delete
  32. Who has a twitter account? Maybe someone could forward the latest Bev Smith article to the W Network accounts? That way it could reach all those new viewers/fans from the show? Nothing like dropping some knowledge on folks....

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  33. Just watched the latest episodes of the show. So TM's grandmother is perfectly okay with having Tessa fixed up with a Frenchman in his 30s with the hopes of marriage? WTF?? This is so beyond, I'm having a hard time believing TM exists.

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    Replies
    1. I would only agree to that if it's Brian Joubert or Fabian Bourzat...

      Delete
    2. LOL - Good one anon at 8:41 pm - but seriously folks - which mom with 4 kids - 2 sons that live in Ontario, one daughter currently in Australia - would encourage her youngest daughter to find someone overseas....perhaps Kate Virtue is also a fan of the classical period pieces a la Pride and Prejudice...lol...

      Delete
    3. "would encourage her youngest daughter to find someone overseas..."

      What's so hard to believe? The Virtues have dear family friends in France. They go there every year. Tessa has said she wants to live in France.

      Delete
    4. "I would only agree to that if it's Brian Joubert or Fabian Bourzat..."

      Brian and Fabian are rooming together in the Village! T should go over there and try both of them out while she has a chance.... ;)

      Delete
    5. You people are missing the point. Tessa is married to Scott. They have a child together. They have bought and renovated a house in London. They may vacation in France, but my guess is that they're staying put in London.

      Since she turned 3 not to long ago, Toddler Moir has graduated to Little Moir since she's considered preschool age now and not a toddler.

      The plot on the show, as with everything on that show, was stupid and ridiculous.

      Delete
    6. Why do people keep trying to make themselves believe that 99% of what they're seeing on the show is true? It's NOT. These people are all saying the lines devised for them to say in the false narrative.

      Delete
    7. "So TM's grandmother is perfectly okay with having Tessa fixed up with a Frenchman in his 30s with the hopes of marriage?"

      Of course she's not. The storyline she's helping act out is FAKE.

      Delete
    8. The trashiness of the show is one more indication of how fake it is. I think VM are assholes for lying this way but I also don't think Scott is the kind of person to treat his gf like nothing more than a high-class call girl. Supposedly Cassandra has never been to Paris but she'll go just for a weekend and spend a major portion of her time waiting for Scott in a hotel room? The implication clearly is she is only there to service him. It's disgusting. And it screams fake.

      Delete
    9. Also that she needed to fly halfway across the world to meet Scott's partner who lives in the same town as her back at home. And then she doesn't meet her anyway.

      LOL, the script is so bad.

      What happened to that swimming pool scene from the trailer? Was Cassandra in the pool with V/M and then it was decided the storyline would be that she's never met Tessa so they cut the scene?

      Delete
    10. Anon at 10:57 pm - the pool scene - could have also included Tessa BFFs...this show went totally out of the way of showing that Tessa's girlfriends would never interact with Scott and vice versa (Scott's friends would never come in contact with Tessa)...they must have totally separate lives off the ice...

      Delete
  34. Maybe so, but somebody did the leg work that went into breakdowns of the skating and it wasn't Beverly Smith.

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    Replies
    1. Oops, sorry. That was meant to be a reply to @ 7:43.

      Delete
  35. Who should we send this vote-swapping news on twitter to? Americans, Canadians, skaters, coaches? All of the above?

    ReplyDelete
  36. How about @meryl_davis. hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, don't do it... at least not until you've sent it to at least a dozen news media/publications.

      Delete
    2. I agree with 10:51.

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    3. And cement L'Equipe's reputability by pointing out their role in breaking the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

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    4. Should I send it to news agencies first? I sent it to a bunch of skaters (Kristi Yamaguchi, Jeff Buttle, Joannie Rochette, etc.) but my account got temporarily suspended. WTF. Apparently one of these people reported me.

      Delete
    5. Did you tweet them with the link one after the other? Without any regular tweet in between? I think if you do that, twitter thinks you're a spam bot. I don't think someone reported you if that's the case.

      Delete
    6. @3:22, you should be okay after an hour or so. I hope.

      Delete
    7. I mean, @ 3:02 AM.

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    8. My suspension just got lifted. Yes!

      I wonder what NBC/Icenetwork is thinking right now.

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    9. @3:34 On one hand, L'Equipe is reliable. On the other hand, the coach is not named. How do you even investigate this sort of thing? Compound it with a) Olympics on Russian soil and b) US media who are not going to play along.

      As for tweeting the skaters, I think they will think hard before responding (if ever) to the tweets. This is straying to dangerous territory, and they probably don't want to get burned. Skating's track record in judging is shit, and few people would want to draw notice to this at the sport's biggest stage. Skaters have grown up with politics at local, national, and international levels. They know there's wheeling and dealing going on. The question is if they would dare to risk their skin for this.

      NBC/Icenetwork will do damage control and will possibly play it down. Burden of proof will rest on L'Equipe. Because while a Russian coach likely did talk to them, naysayers will point out that does it follow that he was truthful? How will the paper prove it?

      My head says it's too late for VM, though my heart still hopes. It's very frustrating. I think at this point in the game, the most we can do is spread the word and get people talking. Get them to ask questions. Make them think. Make them skeptical.

      Delete
    10. DW fans over at FSU are so laughable. And lacking in reading comprehension. While Beverley Smith wrote that piece for Canadian media, they utter failed to understand that the primary source isn't.

      Dearest loveliest stupid DW ubers, since I know you're reading this, the original article Smith referenced was FRENCH. From a FRENCH paper. NOT a tabloid, but a reliable, reputable newspaper. The one that busted Lance Armstrong back in 2005. He denied it like hell, and lots of Americans believed him. Well, we all know how that turned out, didn't we?

      Delete
  37. Hm, the focus of the scandal are VM and DW. People online are not mentioning that such vote swap would also impact PB.

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  38. Of course Mike Slipchuk sidesteps the issue. He's in Russia.

    Skate Canada really shouldn't have put all their eggs in Chan's basket.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a no-win situation for VM. They get silver, boo. If a miracle happened and they somehow win gold, DW fans will blame the scandal and VM fans for spreading the word.

      Delete
  39. One part of me is worried that this breaking story will impact VM negatively, as the Russians wouldn't like being accused of cheating at a home Olympics. The other part of me is angry and would rather have ice dance kicked out of the Olympics until it has a major overhaul.

    I wonder if the L'Equipe story is gaining traction on the continent. The Italian and French ice dance teams are contending for bronze with the Russians, while the German pair have a tough row to hoe against V/T.

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    Replies
    1. Already Phil Hersh and Lynn Rutherford are dismissing it as rumor (duh, Americans). There will be absolutely no help from the US media for this one.

      Delete
  40. don't think of it as "media" think of it as a journalist who wants a "big break" or attention. go after the journalist at nytimes who wrote that piece, the globe and mail journalist who may want a follow-up. reach out to the journalists who are in a position to view expanding this story as a win-win, i.e, they need to get something out of it too. that's how you get a response in mainstream media. go straight to the journalist. it's not hard. their names on printed everywhere as is their email address. this is how journalists get -and CHOOSE- their stories.

    and why isn't this article being tweeted to meryl and Charlie? If I was on twitter I would.

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